The Durham Intermediate English Department is excited to welcome you to 7th and 8th Grade! We are dedicated to developing our students’ reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills, as well as fostering their love of literature. Collaboration, organization, and participation are key to success in English class.

Reading, writing, and speaking are the foundation for communication with and amongst others. We place an emphasis on these skills throughout the year. There will be extensive writing opportunities, as well as individual and group speaking assignments. Additionally, students will read a variety of literature, including narratives, short stories, non-fiction texts, and novels.


English 7

Seventh grade students are just getting into the habit of lockers, switching classes, and multiple teachers. This is a transitional year that can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s important for students to reach out for help when they need it.

Core Project(s):Core Novels:
Medieval Manor
African Fable
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

English 8

A large portion of eighth grade is devoted to the Eighth Grade Project (PEG). The topic of this 8-12 page research paper will be selected by the student. There are various due dates which must be met and which affect the final grade. It is very important that students stay on top of their work, manage their time wisely, and ask for help if needed.

Core Project(s):Core Novels:
Eighth Grade Project (PEG)The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank


Our courses meet the requirements outlined in the California Common Core State Standards adopted in 2010. More information about the standards can be found here. In general, both 7th and 8th grade standards are similar, with an increase in rigor from 7th to 8th grade. They are divided as follows:

  • Reading Literature
    • Key Ideas and Details
    • Craft and Structure
    • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
    • Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
  • Reading Informational Texts
    • Key Ideas and Details
    • Craft and Structure
    • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
    • Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
  • Writing
    • Text Types and Purposes
    • Production and Distribution of Writing
    • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
    • Range of Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
    • Comprehension and Collaboration
    • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Language
    • Conventions of Standard English
    • Knowledge of Language
    • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Student Resources

Log into Acellus and check Google Classroom frequently to stay up to date on readings and assignments! Contact your teacher with any questions sooner rather than later.


Jesse De Mercurio, English 8 Teacher

Jennifer Herron-Bransky, English 7 Teacher